Uncloudable photos

Written early in the evening in English • Tags: , ,

Since switching to the iCloud Photo Library, the Photos app on my laptop has kept telling me that

  • 1 Item on This Mac Only
  • Unable to Upload 9 Items

To identify the oddball photos, I created the following smart folders respectively:

  • [Photo] [is] [referenced]
  • [Photo] [is] [unable to upload to iCloud Photo Library]

Referenced photos can be consolidated into the library and would then be uploaded to iCloud — mine was a duplicate, so I just deleted it. The photos that could not be uploaded were photos that had been deleted, but somehow a reference had been kept or imported.


L2TP over IPsec on Cisco IOS

Written in the mid-afternoon in English • Tags: , , , , ,

I wanted to use the OS X VPN client to connect to my home network while on the road. I guess using an OS X server would be the easiest way to get a Mac-compatible VPN server up and running. Using a Cisco running IOS required quite a few lines of configuration.

The OS X VPN client provides terrible feedback. It will happily tell you that there was “no response from the VPN server” when in reality the server responds with a rejection of all the ISAKMP or IPsec transforms proposed by the client. Fortunately both the Cisco debugging messages and verbose output from tcpdump were quite helpful.

In about 3 hours I got it all working, including routing with other VRFs and DMVPN sites. (more…)

Network hostname lookup trouble

Written in the mid-afternoon in English • Tags:

Some programs sometimes fail to use the DNS search list to look up names of local hosts on my Mavericks laptop. I don’t recall ever having had this problem with earlier OS X versions. (more…)

Finally figured out why Startup: Never doesn’t work in Parallels: I was being bitten by Lion’s resume feature. To actually obey the startup and shutdown settings of each virtual machine, one needs to select Disable Resume for Parallels Desktop in its settings.

File Vault volumes cannot be resized

Written late in the evening in English • Tags: ,

Turns out one has to turn off File Vault to resize the underlying partition. However, resizing does not work when running off of the recovery partition (which you might be doing to run fsck on the primary partition). (more…)

Troubleshooting USB Audio 2.0 on a Mac

Written in the wee hours in English • Tags: ,

I noticed my Cambridge Audio DacMagic Plus was no longer recognized by my iMac and music was coming out of the built-in speakers instead. I had no idea when the DAC had disappeared, as I hadn’t listened to music in the office for a while (and had been traveling for a week as well). I moved it to another USB port and it was recognized, but the signal it received was at 48 kHz instead of 192 kHz.

I tried:

  • connecting a USB headset to the problem port: it was not recognized.
  • connecting the DAC to a Macbook Air: the DAC indicated a 192 kHz signal.
  • an SMC reset: no change.
  • a PRAM reset: I got the USB port back, but still at 48 kHz.

My searches on Google weren’t turning up anything useful about the sample rate on USB Audio. Then I happened to search for just “imac usb audio 2.0” and started reading the top hit: USB Audio on the Mac. It has a section on Clock Entities showing the Audio Midi Setup tool.

For some reason the Mac had the clock for the external DAC set at 48 kHz. Using the dropdown menu I could set it at 192 kHz and all was instantly back to normal.

Perl on the Mac

Written early in the evening in English • Tags: , ,

Mac OS X comes with Perl installed — that’s good. But it doesn’t come with all the modules you may want. On Ubuntu this is no problem: most modules can be found with aptitude as packaged by Ubuntu and their friends. I was trying to think how to manage Perl modules on my Mac in a similar way, so I could track what is installed. What I didn’t think of was the fact that no software is tracked on the Mac anyway, so why should I care.

Thus I should happily use CPAN to add any modules I might need. Maybe not the most secure thing in the world to run as root, but that’s the expected way to do it…

Turns out there is still a hiccup, but apparently just with Xcode 4: there is no ppc assembler on the system, but Perl is configured to expect one. Fortunately others have already figured this out — the full problem and a fix are presented in Perl and Xcode 4.

I guess I should be backing up the list of installed Perl modules somehow.

Total keyboard control

Written at evening time in English • Tags: , , ,

I was researching what people do about keyboard mappings when using virtual machines or remote desktop connections from their Macs, especially when the other system is running Windows. Different software packages map the keyboard differently and some even have different modes that provide different mappings. Now whenever I see a Windows desktop, I have no idea what keys to press anymore.

My research led me to KeyRemap4MacBook. It comes with a kernel driver that lets you map any key presses you like, in one or more applications, on one or more keyboards. All this power is configurable in XML and selectable through a preference panel applet.

I haven’t fixed my Windows keys yet (partially because I realized I might want to keep Alt as Alt, instead of using Cmd), but I have added a binding to switch keyboard layouts using a combination similar to the one used on Windows: Command + Left Shift (or Shift + Left Command, if you prefer). As far as your muscle memory is concerned, this maps to Alt + Left Shift on a PC keyboard.

I switch between the Finnish and US English layouts, so I also needed to add support for the Finnish input mode. This is why I added the bindings in checkbox.xml instead of private.xml (see patch) — you could add similar entries in the latter file for the input modes you need.

Update: My patch has been merged upstream and is included in version 7.2.47 and later.